All the pieces are in place for a thrilling end to Better Call Saul's superlative second season...
This review contains spoilers.
Most good storytelling is driven by conflict, and the best conflict needn’t be explosive or violent. The best conflict is rooted in characters and how they differ, how their clashing interests and differing approaches pit them against each other without anyone necessarily being the hero or villain. Good, compelling conflict allows us to understand who characters are and why they do what they do while still pitting them against each other.
The heart of this week’s episode is the struggle over the hugely lucrative client Mesa Verde. As Kim sets out on her own, working alongside but not together with Jimmy, she attempts to take her hard-won gains with her. Howard tries to stop her but fails, leading to Chuck stepping in, deploying a herculean effort to stave off his own mental illness until he has snatched Kim’s victory away from her, before Jimmy enters with a ploy of his own. Early in the episode Kim turns down Jimmy’s advice of going behind Howard’s back to secure Mesa Verde, telling him that the point of this venture is to allow both of them to be their own kind of lawyer. This sets up the way in which Fifi examines Better Call Saul’s four central lawyer characters and their very different approaches to their profession.
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I’m not sure if we’ve learnt much about Howard’s background before, but his scene with Kim gives us some solid insight. He is sincerely impressed when he learns that Kim is not defecting to another firm, but heading out on her own, and even admits that he once wanted to do the same thing before being pushed into HHM by his father. This exchange reveals so much; while Kim’s transfer to a different firm pretty much guaranteed her a partnership, she chose autonomy, something Howard didn’t do. But furthermore, Kim reached her position through lots and lots of hard work. Howard’s was handed to him by a father who wanted to ‘throw another H in the firm’s logo’. There’s a lot to unpack here; firstly, it makes it no surprise that Kim quite easily snatches Mesa Verde from Howard’s relatively weak grasp. Kim knows how to fight for what she wants, Howard, on the other hand, is far more willing to give up when things don’t come easily. Furthermore, I think that Howard genuinely means it when he tells Kim he always pushed her harder because he expected more from her. The problem is that, having been given his partnership instead of fighting for it, I doubt Howard has much understanding of hard work and ergo even less understanding of how to motivate people. His ‘pushing’, however well intentioned, was really just unfair bullying, and as a result he lost a great employee and came within an inch of losing an important client.
While Howard might not know how to fight, Chuck won’t give up so easily. Where Kim treats Mesa Verde (and by extension her profession) with honesty and the promise of hard work and dedication, Chuck uses manipulation and a brilliant way with words, disarming the client through his appraising assessment of Kim before swiftly turning that appraisal into a sales pitch for his own skills. That he manages this all while fighting off the torment that being in that well-lit room must be speaks to his determination and spite toward his brother. His ploy might be pretty obvious, and to the show’s credit the banker from Mesa Verde sees through it pretty quickly, but that doesn’t mean that Chuck’s expert knowledge hasn’t had an impact. Enough of one, in fact, to remove the client from Kim.
It’s a scene that is gripping in just how venomous it is. Mesa Verde might be a huge account, but Jimmy’s right in that HHM hardly needed it, while it would have been a brilliant start for Kim’s fledgling firm. Previous weeks shed some light on the origin of Chuck’s antipathy toward his brother, but that doesn’t mean that the overriding motive here isn’t pure spite. And while Chuck is right in that his actions are firmly within the parameters of a company retaining an important client, his motives certainly are not.
Jimmy, of course, sees right through this. And if Chuck is going to use his own arsenal of verbal skills and legal brilliance to hurt his brother, then Jimmy can retaliate in kind. And so the future Saul Goodman does one of the ugliest things we’ve yet seen from him; he takes advantage of his brother’s incapacitation to alter the Mesa Verde documents, strewing them with errors presumably to help drive them back to Kim. Can this be justified? It all depends on your point of view. Jimmy always cared for Chuck despite their problems, and you can see the guilt on his face when Chuck thanks him for it. This is the first time Jimmy has taken advantage of his brother’s condition, and it’s hard not to see it as another line crossed. This episode almost captures both brothers and their conflict in perfect microcosm; Jimmy does the wrong thing for the right reasons, Chuck the right thing for the wrong reasons.
Jimmy’s choice here will almost definitely have enormous ramifications. He has tried to help Kim in the past, but always stopped short of directly interfering with her affairs. It’s pretty clear that he has done the last thing she wants, something that may very well give her back Mesa Verde, but as a poisoned chalice won through lying and cheating rather than integrity. Because that’s the central theme of Better Call Saul; doing the wrong thing might be easier and more effective than the right one, but it will always come back to bite you, whether it ruins your job or relationships or leaves you trapped in the trash room of a Nebraska mall, too scared to use the emergency exit for fear of the police finding out who you are.
And speaking of cold opens, holy crap, this week offered up one of the show’s best ever. It’s hard to know where to start; the catchy, toe tapping, slowly building music, the long, winding shot around the Salamanca truck being searched or the driver finding his gun just past the border, the icy pole sticks showing that this is just business as usual. As a scene, it didn’t have any huge pay-off other than to give us a little glimpse inside the Salamanca operation that Mike is apparently about to take on, but it was the kind of moment that reminds us of the spectacular level this show operates on, far above so many other things on TV.
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The Mike side of things was relatively quiet this week. He’s staking out the Salamanca operation and enlisting Kaylee to help him in making what appears to be some kind of trap for their trucks, perhaps to pop the tyres as part of some larger scheme. This subplot is treading water at the moment, but it’s hard to care much when the Jimmy material is as riveting as it currently is. There are only two episodes left this season, and the pieces are in place for a thrilling end to this chapter.
Read Gabriel’s review of the previous episode, Inflatable, here.
Jimmy pretends Fudge, an elderly registered sex offender, is a World War II veteran so his camera crew and he can gain access to a U.S. Air Force base. Once inside, they use FIFI, a World War II-era Boeing B-29 Superfortress, as the backdrop for a TV ad to attract new clients to Jimmy's elder law practice.What did Saul do in Fifi? ›
And so the future Saul Goodman does one of the ugliest things we've yet seen from him; he takes advantage of his brother's incapacitation to alter the Mesa Verde documents, strewing them with errors presumably to help drive them back to Kim. Can this be justified? It all depends on your point of view.What did Jimmy do to the Mesa Verde Files? ›
Possibly the most significant event to happen in the entire season was Jimmy changing the address to the Mesa Verde branch in Chuck's files from 1261 to 1216, the year after the Magna Carta. Not only did it lead to Jimmy's eventual arrest, but it also led to Mesa Verde going back to Kim as their outside counsel.What happens in episode 8 of Better Call Saul? ›
Jimmy gets selfless, Kim gets questioned, Mike gets mobilized, Lalo gets proof, and Gus gets even. The Breaking Bad Cinematic Universe (or BBCU) is populated with people who possess superhuman powers of perception.Did Jimmy get the money from Sandpiper? ›
Does Jimmy get money from Sandpiper case? Kim proposes framing Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) for a crime he didn't commit, like misappropriation of funds. Doing so would lead to the Sandpiper lawsuit settled, leaving Jimmy (and, by extension, Kim) with the compensation they're owed.What is Mike making at the end of Fifi? ›
A scene of someone photocopying legal documents has no right to be this beautiful. Mike, meanwhile, is doing a DIY project of his own, with assistance from his granddaughter. They drill holes into a garden hose — to help water the rhododendrons, he tells his daughter-in-law.How did Saul know the vacuum guy? ›
After having learned of Ed through Caldera's little black book, Saul was known to offer his clients Ed's services and had used him enough that he was aware of Ed's rules. However, he was unaware of Ed's name or that Best Quality Vacuum was a real business and not just a front that Ed used to meet with his clients.Who was the burnt body in Better Call Saul? ›
Better Call Saul's Season 6 premiere deals with the aftermath of Gus' attack on Lalo's home. In order to escape, Lalo burns a body beyond recognition and dresses it in his clothes.How did Saul Disob? ›
When threatened by a Philistine attack, Saul disobeyed the Lord by offering a sacrifice instead of waiting for Samuel to do it. Jonathan and Saul led the Israelites to victory in battle against the Philistines.Why did Kim Wexler cry when Jimmy read Chuck's letter? ›
Hearing how deeply Jimmy's brother loved him perhaps struck a nerve that reminded Kim of the family connection she never experienced. More than anything, Jimmy and Kim's contrasting reactions to Chuck's letter highlight how different the two characters had become in Better Call Saul season 4.
Jimmy and Kim embark on a new scheme to force a settlement in the Sandpiper case, hoping to use the proceeds to launch another law practice. The scheme involves multiple phases in which Cliff, by being made to witness to several stunts engineered by the duo, is manipulated into thinking that Howard is a drug addict.Why was Jimmy in the desert with Mike? ›
In the episode, Jimmy McGill agrees to travel to the desert as a "bagman" to pick up the $7 million that will serve as bail money for Lalo Salamanca. Once there, Jimmy finds himself in the middle of a shootout, where he encounters Mike Ehrmantraut.Why is Gus scared of Lalo? ›
Because of the rivalry between Gus and Hector, Lalo becomes dedicated to disrupting Gus' legitimate restaurant business Los Pollos Hermanos and Lavandería Brillante, as well as his reputation with the cartel. Unlike his other rivals such as Walter White, Gus was highly fearful of Lalo due to his cunning and resilience.What did Gus kick at Lalo? ›
Once down there, Lalo gives Gus a chance for some last words. Gus gives an angry speech denouncing Eladio and the Salamancas. He then kicks out a switch (turning the lights off), retrieves his stashed gun in the confusion, and blindly empties it at Lalo, shooting him in the neck.How did Gus know where Lalo was? ›
Better Call Saul season 6's "Carrot & Stick" speaks to Gus Fring's awesome instincts, not only knowing a visit to Hector Salamanca was the best method of confirming whether the Lalo assassination stuck, but also getting exactly the cues he wanted from their conversation.How much was Sandpiper payout? ›
The company offers $100,000 in compensation, but Jimmy presents evidence that Sandpiper's fraud makes them eligible for a RICO case. Chuck demands Sandpiper pay $20 million to settle, which their attorneys refuse.Does Jimmy inherit Chuck's money? ›
Chuck leaves most of his estate to his ex-wife, with only a $5,000 bequest to Jimmy, which is just enough to prevent him from contesting the will.What did Howard tell Kim? ›
Kim confronts Howard about his treatment of Jimmy. Howard is initially resistant, but then tells Kim the truth—that Chuck secretly asked him to block Jimmy. Jimmy figures out on his own that Chuck was responsible.Who tipped off the DA about Mike? ›
Mike and Louis discover that it was Sheila Sazs who reported Mike to the authorities after Louis recognises the wording and language in the anonymous email (sent from a general Harvard Faculty address) as hers.Why did Mike wake up in Mexico? ›
'Better Call Saul' Creator Peter Gould Explains Why Gus Fring Sent Mike to Mexico. Share: In the fifth episode of Better Call Saul Season 5, Mike (Jonathan Banks) woke up in a Mexican village. He was stuck there recovering from his wounds from a street fight in episode four, until Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) visited ...
The identity of who turned in Mike Ross has finally been revealed! In tonight's episode, Mike and Harvey discover that Sheila Sazs, Louis Litt's ex-girlfriend, sent an anonymous email to the feds letting them know Mike might be a fraud. (You can read the full episode recap here.)Why did Saul not take the 7 years? ›
Saul had a sweet deal to go to prison for seven years. When his day in court came, he decided to be honest and got 86 years to life instead. If you're wondering why Jimmy decided to make things worse for himself, it was because of his last conversation with Kim.Why did Better Call Saul end so abruptly? ›
Odenkirk's filming the final season was unexpectedly halted in July 2021 when he collapsed on the series' New Mexico set after suffering a heart attack.How did Saul get the cigarette? ›
The first is that Walt throws out his lily of the valley plant, destroying the evidence. Then, in his meeting with Saul, Saul hands the ricin cigarette that Huell lifted from Jesse back to Walt.Why does Lalo laugh when he dies? ›
Lalo died smiling as a nod to the maniacal personality he carried throughout life, but also to stress the satisfaction he derived from having been right about Gus. The familiar, creepy smirk was one final act of rebellion. Even in his most painful moment, he refused to let Gus see a glimmer of defeat on his face.Who was Lalo's body double? ›
The lookalike continues a running theme through Season 6 of mistaken identity, including Lalo Salamanca's use of Mateo Ramos to fake his death, and Jimmy McGill acting as a body double for Howard Hamlin.Who ordered the hit on Lalo? ›
Season 5. The hitmen are hired by Gustavo Fring through a middle man to assassinate Lalo Salamanca once he returns home to Mexico. With the reluctant assistance of Nacho Varga opening the back gate, the men gain access to Lalo's home, killing his staff.Who became king after Saul? ›
Saul's only surviving son, Ishbaal, was anointed as his successor, supported by the northern tribes. But the southern elders went to Hebron, David's military base, and in due course anointed David king “over the house of Judah.”Are there still Amalekites today? ›
In addition, the Amalekites, as a physical nation, have been extinct since the time of Hezekiah's reign, according to the Hebrew Bible.Who did God tell Saul to destroy? ›
Anyone who is serious about the Bible being God's word is going to believe that God both commanded Saul to eliminate the Amalekites and empowered him to have the victory.
She tells him, “You should turn yourself in.” Gene doesn't like that very much, and dares her to turn herself in, pointing out that Gus and Mike are both dead so she won't face any consequences. Kim also says, “I'm glad you're alive.” And that's about it.What mental illness does Chuck from Better Call Saul have? ›
But the supporting cast are given plenty to do as well, including character actor Michael McKean, who plays Chuck McGill. One of the subplots of the show follows Chuck's obsessive compulsive order (OCD), a mental illness where people suffer from intrusive thoughts and compulsions.Does Kim Wexler love Jimmy McGill? ›
|Spouse||Jimmy McGill / Saul Goodman (divorced)|
|Significant other||Glen (boyfriend)|
Sandpiper's attorneys deny the company is defrauding residents, but concede some were overcharged. The company offers $100,000 in compensation, but Jimmy presents evidence that Sandpiper's fraud makes them eligible for a RICO case. Chuck demands Sandpiper pay $20 million to settle, which their attorneys refuse.What did Jimmy do to the sunroof? ›
Drunk, Jimmy decides to poop through the sun roof onto the white leather interiors of the car. Unfortunately, Chets kids were in the backseat. He gets the DA to charge Jimmy with indecent exposure and threatens to have him listed as a sex offender. So ends the story.What did Jimmy do to the Kettlemans? ›
Main story. Jimmy gives the Kettlemans the option of hiring him but instead, they offer a bribe if he does not reveal they are in possession of the stolen $1.6 million, and he accepts. Nacho Varga is released from custody and accuses Jimmy of warning the Kettlemans.What body did Mike find in the desert? ›
Mike Ehrmantraut drives to the site where he committed the ice-cream truck robbery. Using information Nacho Varga provided, he finds the body of the Good Samaritan who was killed after freeing Ximenez Lecerda. He then makes an anonymous call and reports the location to the police.Who ordered the hit on Jimmy in the desert? ›
It isn't a stretch to say Lalo ordered the hit on Jimmy. There wasn't anything random about the attack; in the moment, it felt like a coordinated assault, with Jimmy's aggressors knowing exactly where he'd be on the road with the money.Why did Mike take the gas cap off? ›
Just before he and Jimmy pushed the Suzuki Esteem into the ditch, Mike removed the gas cap so as not to leave any evidence of his subterfuge.Is Lalo Tuco's brother? ›
Lalo Salamanca is one of the cartel's most feared members, known for his charm, strength, and business savvy. He is the nephew of Don Hector Salamanca and the cousin of Tuco Salamanca, who are prominent characters in both Better Call Saul and its father series Breaking Bad.
However, since Gus is able to make so much money for the cartel, he needs definitive proof. Up to this point, Gus is portrayed as the smartest person on the show, matched only by Walter White in Breaking Bad. In spite of this, Lalo is able to believably outmaneuver him at nearly every turn.Is Lalo really a Salamanca? ›
Lalo is one of many nephews of Hector Salamanca, an enforcer of Don Eladio Vuente's drug cartel. After Hector suffers a stroke, Lalo arrives from Mexico to help run the family drug operation in Albuquerque; he takes a greater interest in the day-to-day details of the operation than Hector did.Why did Jimmy make Kim shoot Gus? ›
1 thing marriage counselors tell their patients not to do. As she explained to Mike and Gus, though, Kim believed Jimmy pushed her into the hitman assignment because he figured she'd be safer outside of the apartment and as far away as possible from Lalo.Who kills Nacho? ›
Rather than pretend to flee as planned so that Victor can kill him quickly, Nacho uses a piece of broken glass to free himself from his zip tie, seize Juan's gun, and kill himself. The Cousins then assist Hector to fire bullets into Nacho's lifeless body.Is Lalo Salamanca a psychopath? ›
Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton)
Lalo Salamanca is the evilest man in Better Call Saul, and may even be eviler than Jack Welker of Breaking Bad. Lalo Salamanca is simply a psychopath. His way of thinking is different than most people's. Unlike Jack Welker, Salamanca isn't motivated by the moment's pleasure.
A member of the Salamanca family, Lalo is the grandson of Abuelita and one of Don Hector's nephews, having four cousins who are also involved in criminal activities within the Salamanca drug operation in the cartel: his main cousin and fellow distributor Tuco, his hitmen cousins Marco and Leonel, and his first cousin ...What is Gus mysterious past in Chile? ›
Gus immigrated to Mexico in the 1980s during the Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, and in a flashback during the Breaking Bad episode "One Minute", Hector mockingly refers to him as "Big Generalissimo", implying that Gus had a connection to the Pinochet regime.Does Lalo know Nacho betrayed him? ›
Nacho betrayed Lalo by informing the police about his drug-dealing operation. Nacho had been working as Lalo's right-hand man for some time, but he decided to turn on him after Lalo killed Nacho's father. Nacho contacted the police and told them about Lalo's drug operation, which led to Lalo's arrest.What was Jimmy in jail for? ›
Better Call Saul wrapped up its six-season run on Monday with a supersized series finale that saw Jimmy/Saul/Gene meet a fitting end: sentenced to 86 years in federal prison for his role in Walter White's drug empire and all his other misdeeds.Why did Jimmy go in the dumpster? ›
Lawyer Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) goes dumpster diving to prove a senior citizens home is defrauding its residents on “RICO,” Episode 108 of AMC's “Better Call Saul.”
After all, Jimmy is "Salamanca's guy" in Better Call Saul now. Lalo will suspect that Jimmy has ties to Gus or Mike, and he could therefore try to use him as leverage.What did Chuck leave Jimmy? ›
Chuck leaves most of his estate to his ex-wife, with only a $5,000 bequest to Jimmy, which is just enough to prevent him from contesting the will.Why did Jimmy defecate through a sunroof? ›
Drunk, Jimmy decides to poop through the sun roof onto the white leather interiors of the car. Unfortunately, Chets kids were in the backseat. He gets the DA to charge Jimmy with indecent exposure and threatens to have him listed as a sex offender. So ends the story.Why did Jimmy get 86 years? ›
Even though Jimmy tries to be optimistic in his talk with Kim, the reality is that he received an 86-year sentence for his crimes in Breaking Bad. This was designed to give Jimmy no way out since he fully confessed to everything in Better Call Saul's finale, which means any future deals are off the table.Did Jimmy get his settlement money? ›
Jimmy pulls a series of psychological and social manipulation tricks to turn Irene's friends against her so that she believes refusing the Sandpiper settlement is against the interests of her fellow clients. She decides to accept, meaning Jimmy will receive his much-needed share.What does Chuck do with the tape of Jimmy? ›
Chuck reveals he intentionally allowed Ernesto to hear the tape, knowing he would tell Kim and Jimmy. Chuck predicts Jimmy will break into his house to destroy the tape, enabling him to have Jimmy arrested.Did Saul get 86 years? ›
He is sentenced to 86 years in prison, where he is revered by fellow inmates who recognize him as Saul. Kim visits him and they share a cigarette. As she departs, he goes to the prison yard to see her off and gestures finger guns. Kim acknowledges the gesture and leaves.Are Lalo and Tuco brothers? ›
A member of the Salamanca family, Lalo is the grandson of Abuelita and one of Don Hector's nephews, having four cousins who are also involved in criminal activities within the Salamanca drug operation in the cartel: his main cousin and fellow distributor Tuco, his hitmen cousins Marco and Leonel, and his first cousin ...How Gus know Lalo is alive? ›
Better Call Saul season 6's "Carrot & Stick" speaks to Gus Fring's awesome instincts, not only knowing a visit to Hector Salamanca was the best method of confirming whether the Lalo assassination stuck, but also getting exactly the cues he wanted from their conversation.What did Gus shoot Lalo with? ›
While delivering a scathing monologue to the drug bosses down in the high-tech meth lab that Walt and Jesse will eventually use in “Breaking Bad,” Gus turns out the lights, grabs a gun and fires the clip at Lalo. When the lights turn back on, we see Lalo choking on his own blood from a fatal neck wound.